More than a third of Americans are affected by astigmatism, which occurs when the cornea, or lens, of the eye is misshapen, causing light to focus incorrectly on the retina. Although most cases are so mild that no corrective action is necessary, others cause blurry vision, poor depth perception, distortion, eye strain and sometimes headaches.
There are many things the average person may not understand about astigmatism. What follows are some of the issues eye patients bring up with their doctors, and how you can address them.
Astigmatism affects children too.
In most cases, astigmatism is inherited. Unlike “over 40” vision (presbyopia), astigmatism can occur in children, who may not realize their vision is distorted, or may be unable to describe their discomfort. What you can do: Stay ahead of changes in your child’s eyes. Annual eye exams are so important for youngsters, particularly in the era of the coronavirus when many of them are spending more time in front of computer screens.
Yes, you can wear contact lenses.
At one time, people with astigmatism were told they could not wear contact lenses; however, newer lens types, such as toric lenses and gas permeable contact lenses, stabilize and/or hold the natural lens to the correct shape for proper light refraction for astigmatism.
Depending on your prescription, your corrective lenses could be a pricier proposition for you than your standard near-sighted individuals, and possibly less comfortable. In the case of gas permeable (GP) lenses, the stiffer lens can be uncomfortable for some users. What you can do: If you are wearing hard GP contact lenses that are causing you discomfort, discuss options with your eye doctor.
Eye rubbing makes astigmatism worse.
It may feel good for a second or two, but rubbing your eyes puts pressure on the cornea, and the entire eyeball, which can cause damage and changes in shape. What you can do: Keep soothing eyedrops at hand to relieve dryness and irritation that may tempt you to rub. If you suffer dry eye, it may also help to gently swipe or dab your eyes with a cool, wet washcloth to remove grit and discharge from the eye.
LASIK is a great option for those with astigmatism.
The myth that LASIK is not an option for astigmatism is slow to die. Yes, we can correct astigmatism with the advanced SoftTouch LASIK and ZEISS SMILE treatments available at Lake Lazer Eye Center. These procedures correct not just the astigmatism but also nearsightedness or farsightedness that may accompany it.
Following a vision correction treatment, many people with astigmatism experience fewer headaches and depth-perception problems than ever before. You may even find that over the years, your LASIK procedure is less expensive than a lifetime of glasses and expensive astigmatism-correcting contact lenses, making LASIK a good financial choice for people with astigmatism as well.
Lake Lazer Eye Center offers convenient and affordable payment options for laser eye surgery that has helped thousands of happy patients get out of their glasses and contacts. In the event that you’re not a candidate for vision correction, we’ll assist you with a contact lens evaluation or a selection of designer and specialty eyewear.